Pursuing Maintenance Program Success: Key Considerations for 2019
As 2019 approaches, it is worth examining your maintenance program to ensure that essential elements for success are in place. Many organizations will continue with many of the directives that they have already started. Others will see opportunities to embark on new initiatives, adopt innovative tools or embrace industry trends that can take their maintenance performance to the next level.
What should the perfect maintenance program look like? There is no single answer to this question, but we can start by considering some of the common challenges that drive maintenance program needs:
- Too much unplanned downtime
- Too much time from request to repair
- Machines and equipment not lasting full lifecycle
- Inefficient planning and poor labor productivity
- Lack of insight into asset and maintenance performance
- The wrong parts inventory on hand
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) or enterprise asset management (EAM) solution can be a core part of solving these issues. Respondents to the 2018 State of CMMS Survey reported an average annual savings of $3.39 million because of the implementation of a CMMS (see graph below). The 2018 State of CMMS Survey included 1,500 respondents representing over 880 companies. The key savings areas reported are the same common challenges maintenance programs are trying to solve.
Beyond the basics of a CMMS, what other challenges can your maintenance program solve in 2019?
Andy Ruse, Vice President, Accruent, discussed 2019 CMMS Predictions in a BetterBuys blog, “Adoption of Mobile CMMS will continue to grow. Many companies are still managing maintenance using paper or spreadsheets. Others have adopted a CMMS, but are not taking full advantage of its mobile capabilities. Our clients see tremendous advantages from mobile CMMS, including better and more accessible asset intelligence, increased labor productivity and efficiency, and enhanced maintenance workflow effectiveness.¹”
According to Aberdeen, “Mobile usage in industrial environments has grown steadily over the past few decades. The increased access to operational data mobile provides a perfect fit for those focusing on asset management and maintenance. In fact, successful companies are 25% more likely than the industry average to utilize mobile devices for the management of their assets.²”
With the success of mobile applications in industrial environments and statistics like the ones that Aberdeen noted, mobile adoption will continue growing.
While integration has long been a key initiative, as tools become more sophisticated, integration offers an even higher value proposition for many end users. Having information compartmentalized across departments and between software applications is detrimental to organizational success. Consider information related to engineering drawings and documentation and the value you receive when the latest drawings in an automated engineering information management system are integrated with a CMMS. When executing a work order, a technician can access the most recent engineering documents through their CMMS mobile device, contributing to safe work order execution and repair time efficiency.
As the departmental silos that have long challenged organizations are broken down with information sharing, the value of each individual system grows and the combined benefits to the overall organization are realized.
Similar to the integration theme, organizations are looking to connect assets like they connect systems. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a huge facilitator of this trend. If you are a manufacturer, you want to have the instrumentation around a piece of equipment, (e.g., vibration readings), connected and sending information to a CMMS so that you can conduct analysis and shift toward true predictive maintenance. If you are a retailer, monitoring refrigeration readings to predict failures before they happen can save inventory.
Reporting and Analytics
Another area that has been a focus for quite some time is reporting and analytics. Maintenance organizations that do not have strong metrics in place cannot determine where they are on the performance curve. Without this insight, it is difficult to make meaningful changes to move maintenance programs forward. The questions about what to measure, how to measure, and how to report plague many organizations. Companies can start by installing data collection systems, but to maximize the return on investment, they must convert that data to actionable intelligence.
A recent ARC Advisory Group report titled Top Technology Trends for Better Asset Management in Process Industries discusses how companies can benefit from using remote monitoring tools to enhance their asset management programs. Remote equipment monitoring can include using the tools themselves or enabling vendors to use these tools to help with diagnosing issues and improving asset lifecycle management.³
These are just a few of the areas organizations can consider as they plan 2019 maintenance programs. Even small improvements in maintenance performance can have a tremendous impact. Some organizations are starting from a paper-based work order system with no asset or maintenance performance insight. Others have an effective CMMS with a strong preventive maintenance program and are looking to shift toward predictive maintenance. In either case, there are opportunities to implement software and technologies, adjust processes and embrace trends to help you achieve your optimal maintenance performance.